Pellegrino Matarazzo on…
…1. FC Cologne: "FC play very intensive football and run a lot. Cologne play towards goal with purpose. We must see the space when we have possession of the ball and keep our build-up play varied. It will be down to us to produce a performance and be successful in this game."
…the recent results: "Our current form gives us a good feeling. We're very optimistic and confident that we can pick up the three points on Saturday. We're not over the line yet, we know that. The other teams are picking up points too. We'll stay at it and keep going."
…the remaining fixtures: "I only think from Saturday to Saturday and don't calculate when we can or must pick up points. We're taking it step by step. We cannot be sure of ourselves until we're over the line mathematically. That's why we need to win as many games as possible. We want to take the decisive steps – and pick up three points against Cologne."
…Dennis Geiger's contract extension: "It's super news. We're all delighted that Dennis will remain with us. He is one of the most interesting holding midfielders in the Bundesliga. He combines aggression, steel in the tackle and playing ability. I believe he still has huge potential. We were not the only club that fought for Dennis. I believe that he will play for the national team at some point. The extension certainly makes a statement too, he has consciously opted for our path."
…Andrej Kramarić's form: "Players decide if and when they perform. I said a few weeks ago that Andrej is a player who has the potential to fire us to survival. He has made the decision to do just that."
…the 13 different goalscorers at TSG: "It is important to share out the responsibility and get different players in the position to score goals. It's no coincidence that different players get into the box. When you're dependent on one player, it can quickly become dangerous."
The personnel situation:
Jacob Bruun Larsen is still out, while Stanley Nsoki (ill) and Finn Ole Becker (calf problems) are doubtful for the Cologne game. Munas Dabbur is available again after serving his suspension. Kevin Vogt is expected to train fully this Thursday and be a contender for the match.
TSG Hoffenheim have the far superior record. Hoffenheim have emerged as victors in 23 Bundesliga matches, while Cologne have won only four times. TSG have found the net 50 times this season, while Cologne have scored only 22 goals.
The opposition's form:
1. FC Cologne have picked up five points from their last three games, but the win in Augsburg (3-1) a fortnight ago was their only one in the past eight matches.